Meet our Affirmative Team

The Women of Influence in this year’s Annual Great Debate know what it’s like to give back.  Their careers, lives and studies are centred around just that.

While it is a little unorthodox to have a “dynamic duo” in a debate position normally for one person, we found it difficult to choose from these amazing ladies.

Both Carey and Chiro have several years of experience working within international and community development, before founding Manasprings to provide a place where grassroots women leaders can empower each other.

After twenty years in the communications and marketing industry in Australia, Carey Westwood left the very familiar for a career in international aid and development.  She travelled up to  six months of every year on the African continent, visiting remote rural villages and over- populated impoverished urban settlements to undertake the monitoring and evaluation of Australian-funded projects. Carey finally made the decision to leave the Gold Coast, Queensland and move to Nairobi, Kenya in December 2012.

Wanjiru Waithaka is an inspiring woman who is the Co-Founder of Manasprings, a grassroot Kenyan organisation that empowers women.

She has worked on the frontline for over twenty years in her family’s organisation – Bethlehem Community Centre, helping the most vulnerable children and families in the Soweto slums of Nairobi. Wanjiru also worked for five years in international aid and development within Africa, focusing on strengthening local community-based organisations.

Prior to election as the Federal Member for Moncrieff, Angie worked across Australia as a retail consultant and business development specialist.

She is the author of a marketing book that has helped many small businesses to succeed. Angie’s thirty-year career as a professional saxophonist included performances throughout the Americas and the Asia Pacific region.

Angie is a past President of LNP Women in Queensland and is passionate about the Liberal National Party values of reward for effort, equality of opportunity, freedom of association and the family as the building block of society.

As a determined advocate for the people of Moncrieff, Angie listens to local stakeholders and works tirelessly to achieve great outcomes for the Gold Coast.

Ms Bell has been a leading figure on the Gold Coast in the response to the pandemic and promoting its economic recovery. She championed COVIDSafe measures, convened the City Heart Taskforce, chaired the Gold Coast Reimagine Forum and has successfully advocated for the funding and delivery of numerous federal government programs in Moncrieff that support families, protect jobs and promote economic growth.

A fundraising leader for almost 30 years, awarded the Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year currently a PhD candidate conducting research about Fundraising Leadership at QUT.

A leader in the nonprofit sector, specialising in fundraising leadership for more than 30 years – tutoring, mentoring and coaching fundraisers, Boards and organisations to encourage philanthropic giving and manage fundraising better.  She was awarded the Arthur Venn Fundraiser of the Year and currently serves as President of Parkinson’s NSW Board.  

As a PhD candidate at QUT, her research explores the relationship between Boards and CEOs that drives fundraising and the organisation mission.

The Annual Great Debate 2021